June 30

2011:  don't see me ever saying "I hate my job". But, "I hate my job TODAY!" Glue stick? 100 small metal objects? Point and shoot digital? Photoshop? I'm done - Enough for today - going to have a cocktail, meatloaf, mashed, veg & movie.

"Jack of all trades, master of none" is the term that comes to mind when I think about the vast amount of projects that I have worked on in my lifetime to pay the bills.

This project paid quite a few bills and although I do like a challenge, the challenges of this project were many and not many of them were fun for me.

I was impressed that this local client was already doing so well with e-commerce.  I was even more impressed that he produced a piece product that was being bought in bulk in China.  Dog tags.  I would have guessed that China would have a corner on the market for such a product, but, I would have guessed wrong.

The reason I was retained was to be the technical liaison when speaking with the India company that was tweaking and publishing the company website.  It's not an easy feat to talk tech with techies from India.  A communication and cultural exchange that could cause high blood pressure in the most mild mannered soul.  But, I was getting paid well, so I endured.

Shortly after proving my worth to this company, I was asked to handle other odd tasks and I did because my pay rate justified working as many hours as I could.

It was a challenge and a mistake for me to offer to take digital images of metal dog tags.  I didn't have the right equipment or the right experience at staging those kind of photographs.  I labored over this task and I'm thankful that I could do it from home because my temper flared on more than one occasion and it probably wasn't pretty.

One day I just up and decided that spending long days on a project that causes me misery is just not worth the money.  I cleared my house of dog tags, handed over hundreds of digital images and thanked the nice client for the experience.

2012:  Bonnet Shores Beach Club History: here’s something sad – I just scanned 100+ beach photos from the ’20’s. With the technology we have today, I can zoom in and see that what looks like ‘ants’ in the photo is really a family of 5 – all smiling/laughing with white teeth, slim, fit and having fun. The sad part is that most of the ppl in the photos aren’t around to see them anymore

2002. And They Still Remember Us

2014: 12 years later we still receive surprise emails from the European university students we hired during summers at the hotel. They call us Mr. Jerry and Miss Mary and they remember their American experience as fondly as we do. Most of our family members worked with us and the summer hires were more like extended family than staff. Kids from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Lithuania, etc. Nice feeling to know we made a positive impact on those kids and they still remember us and seek us out.

March 27

2012: Love What You Do – have had enough html, css, javascript, php, mysql, excel conversion, SOCIAL MEDIA, etc. to suffice a lifetime. But, alas, I will be back at it tomorrow. For now.. logging out and grabbing a bite.

2017: I’ve been trying to sign up for a “coders club” workshop. The input fields on the registration form don’t work. I thought I might learn something.

2017: I don’t think I’m this relentless… yet. But, I can tell you that if you do get “fido’s” domain and I work on it… I can provide you stats on how well you’re marketing your “star”…
Organic SEO is our friend… FB marketing is counterproductive at times. www.OddsNEndsMarketing.com

2003. A Cull Experience.

Last week a friend sent me a good lead on a job from indeed. It was for an operations manager for a theme restaurant here in R.I. with multiple locations and it even had a company vehicle to use. I have experience with the type of operation so I sent in a good cover and my resume right away.

it was the first time ever that I got “to the next level” immediately which meant they sent me a timed, multi-choice test on restaurant operations. It was a risk taking it on my tiny phone with my big thumbs, but I did. And I have to tell you that each of the 20+ questions had me shaking my head, rolling my eyes and thoroughly amused thinking of my own experiences in the industry since before I was legal to work.

This one particular question asked, “if you were the manager and something important came up so you delegated accepting your deliveries to the bus boy and he stored them in a warm room for hours and the whole delivery needed to be trashed, what would you do?” Some of the answers included firing the bus boy or training the WHOLE staff to accept deliveries. Although I know for sure I picked the correct multiple choice from a “leadership perspective”, that is only because I wasn’t face to face to sound off the real answer.

In the real world, management is just a trusted extension of owners. A bus boy or other staff member should never be sent in to do the job of a manager or owner and certainly shouldn’t be chastised or punished for doing a job they aren’t trained or compensated for.

in my world, the manager would have some explaining to do. A child birth or CPR in the front of the house with a lapse of memory of what needed doing would still not be a good enough excuse for such a mess up. Being prepared to pay down on the loss of inventory and payroll due would demonstrate good character. But, you can’t just expect that as a manager of people, you have to groom them to be their very best for you.

But, that is me. Experienced in the industry for more years than I care to admit. But when I was reading the test questions, I couldn’t help but think of some of the more difficult challenges I’ve faced in the industry that I love so much.

Part owner, manager of all things internet, food, beverage and marketing director of Lighthouse Inn, Narragansett RI. I booked a wedding. We had specials on Lobster because we had a tank to store what came ioff the boats. My job was to sell those lobsters. I gave special prices for culls (one claw variety) and made deals. All profit.

I had a decent size wedding (75-100) and small staff. The chef was a dude from Ireland, full of charm, piss and vinegar. I sold the whole wedding steamed lobsters. Culls and every other size. Multiples if wanted.

The moment came to test my staff and kitchen and they expertly served the wedding party first while knowing the rush needed to serve the room without setting off the Irish chef on a tirade. I watched in amazement without having to step in UNTIL…

The bride called me over and for the first time ever, after meetings galore, and told me that her groom only had one hand and needed his lobsters to be shelled.

Protocol dictates that you please a wedding party before guests so that was an immediate upset that needed attention. The chef wasn’t gonna kill me as his lobsters came back in the kitchen, but he wanted to. I acted as body armor for my staff and we actually got through the whole ordeal.

it was “I” who had to sleep at the hotel after the wedding and open up an open bar and buffet breakfast die the wedding the following day.

Ugh… what we will do when we do what we do….

2006. Parties “For A Cause” Blend Charity With Marketing

Parties ‘for a cause’ blend charity with marketing

Providence Business News - Published 03/11/2006 Issue 20-48 - By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer

It’s a simple premise: Invite your employees and customers to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at a local restaurant in support of a nonprofit. The nonprofit benefits from the donations and attention the event creates, while the business gains a marketing opportunity, plus the satisfaction of helping the community.

But it is not as simple as that. There is an art to matching businesses and nonprofits. And that is where Mary Mullen comes in.         Mullen started Providence-based For a Cause Biz about a decade ago after years in the hospitality industry.         She knows firsthand that having a good party is the first step toward having a good event.

“Most of my events are all cocktail receptions,” she said. “They are meet, mix and mingle. It’s a good way for people to socialize, to network. … [Companies are] getting exposure among the public for being community-minded.”

Mullen organizes gatherings that she categorizes as “Cocktails for a Cause,” “Christmas for a Cause” and “A Party with a Purpose,” for organizations sensitive to substance-abuse issues. Her services include securing a location; making and sending out invitations; sending out press releases; recruiting volunteers; and organizing auctions.

“It’s basically all the administrative and technical support needed from conception through reconciliation,” she said. “My events are low-cost, designed to be inclusive of any age and economic means.” Tickets for a typical “Cocktails for a Cause” event might cost $35 to $50 per person at the door. Most restaurants provide appetizers and a complimentary cocktail so that the majority of proceeds from the event go to the company raising money for a nonprofit.

“Most of the time restaurants are doing it as a promotion,” she said. “It’s their donation. They’re the most generous sponsors.”  Some of the restaurants that participate in Mullen’s events are Agora at the Westin Providence hotel, Cactus Bar & Grille, Café Fresco, Davio’s at the Providence Biltmore, Grappa, Grille 262, Mediterraneo and Parkside Rotisserie & Bar.

Mullen said even if a small business has limited means for marketing, if it partners with other small businesses in an area to sponsor a “Cocktails for a Cause” event, the result could mean more exposure for each business while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“Cause marketing is something they all should learn,” she said of small businesses in general. “They’re already spending money on marketing. This is just a new way, where they are using their marketing dollars for philanthropy.”

For a Cause Biz’s nonprofit beneficiaries are mainstream organizations, said Mullen, such as the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island and the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, among others.

Mullen charges less to nonprofits that hire her as a consultant. And she plans some events for nonprofits pro bono. For example, Mullen helps plan events for Leadership Rhode Island, a group focused on developing leadership skills in the business, social and public sectors of the state. (Mullen is a graduate of the program.)

Leadership Rhode Island President Kathy Swann said Mullen excels in making sure an event operates smoothly with the least amount of stress for everyone.         “Attendance is always greater,” Swann said. “She gets people to come from her enthusiasm and her strategies for promotion.”

Mullen works with her own mailing lists in addition to the lists of other organizations to generate attendance to an event. Her mailing list is full of people who’ve attended her events before. She said she has developed a following over the years. “People were coming to the parties because they knew it was a good party,” she said.

Mullen said she didn’t start event planning for nonprofits until she volunteered at them. As a restaurant manager – after years as a server and bartender – she planned special events to promote the restaurants where she worked.

When she realized the demand for fund-raising events for nonprofits was outstripping supply, she started acting as a consultant to bring the two sides together.

“Events are a labor-intensive form of fund raising,” she said, “but they are needed as a way to reach new markets. Fund raising will always be needed.

“This is a culmination of my past,” she said of For a Cause Biz. “Fund raising isn’t a field anyone chooses to go into. It kind of just happens.”

March 11

2006. Blending Marketing And Charity.

Oh My! I just did a computer search "for a cause" and almost 10K files came up. Found this gem of an article from Providence Business News from 2006. I barely remember doing that interview... but, it's priceless.

"Parties ‘for a cause’ blend charity with marketing
Providence Business News - Published 03/11/2006 Issue 20-48 - By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer

It’s a simple premise: Invite your employees and customers to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at a local restaurant in support of a nonprofit. The nonprofit benefits from the donations and attention the event creates, while the business gains a marketing opportunity, plus the satisfaction of helping the community.

But it is not as simple as that. There is an art to matching businesses and nonprofits. And that is where Mary Mullen comes in. Mullen started Providence-based For a Cause Biz about a decade ago after years in the hospitality industry. She knows firsthand that having a good party is the first step toward having a good event.

“Most of my events are all cocktail receptions,” she said. “They are meet, mix and mingle. It’s a good way for people to socialize, to network. … [Companies are] getting exposure among the public for being community-minded.”

Mullen organizes gatherings that she categorizes as “Cocktails for a Cause,” “Christmas for a Cause” and “A Party with a Purpose,” for organizations sensitive to substance-abuse issues. Her services include securing a location; making and sending out invitations; sending out press releases; recruiting volunteers; and organizing auctions.

“It’s basically all the administrative and technical support needed from conception through reconciliation,” she said. “My events are low-cost, designed to be inclusive of any age and economic means.” Tickets for a typical “Cocktails for a Cause” event might cost $35 to $50 per person at the door. Most restaurants provide appetizers and a complimentary cocktail so that the majority of proceeds from the event go to the company raising money for a nonprofit.

“Most of the time restaurants are doing it as a promotion,” she said. “It’s their donation. They’re the most generous sponsors.” Some of the restaurants that participate in Mullen’s events are Agora at the Westin Providence hotel, Cactus Bar & Grille, Café Fresco, Davio’s at the Providence Biltmore, Grappa, Grille 262, Mediterraneo and Parkside Rotisserie & Bar.

Mullen said even if a small business has limited means for marketing, if it partners with other small businesses in an area to sponsor a “Cocktails for a Cause” event, the result could mean more exposure for each business while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“Cause marketing is something they all should learn,” she said of small businesses in general. “They’re already spending money on marketing. This is just a new way, where they are using their marketing dollars for philanthropy.”

For a Cause Biz’s nonprofit beneficiaries are mainstream organizations, said Mullen, such as the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island and the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, among others.
Mullen charges less to nonprofits that hire her as a consultant. And she plans some events for nonprofits pro bono. For example, Mullen helps plan events for Leadership Rhode Island, a group focused on developing leadership skills in the business, social and public sectors of the state. (Mullen is a graduate of the program.)

Leadership Rhode Island President Kathy Swann said Mullen excels in making sure an event operates smoothly with the least amount of stress for everyone. “Attendance is always greater,” Swann said. “She gets people to come from her enthusiasm and her strategies for promotion.”

Mullen works with her own mailing lists in addition to the lists of other organizations to generate attendance to an event. Her mailing list is full of people who’ve attended her events before. She said she has developed a following over the years. “People were coming to the parties because they knew it was a good party,” she said.

Mullen said she didn’t start event planning for nonprofits until she volunteered at them. As a restaurant manager – after years as a server and bartender – she planned special events to promote the restaurants where she worked.

When she realized the demand for fund-raising events for nonprofits was outstripping supply, she started acting as a consultant to bring the two sides together.

“Events are a labor-intensive form of fund raising,” she said, “but they are needed as a way to reach new markets. Fund raising will always be needed.

“This is a culmination of my past,” she said of For a Cause Biz. “Fund raising isn’t a field anyone chooses to go into. It kind of just happens.”

Parties ‘for a cause’ blend charity with marketing
Providence Business News - Published 03/11/2006 Issue 20-48 - By Natalie Myers, Staff Writer

It’s a simple premise: Invite your employees and customers to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at a local restaurant in support of a nonprofit. The nonprofit benefits from the donations and attention the event creates, while the business gains a marketing opportunity, plus the satisfaction of helping the community.

But it is not as simple as that. There is an art to matching businesses and nonprofits. And that is where Mary Mullen comes in. Mullen started Providence-based For a Cause Biz about a decade ago after years in the hospitality industry. She knows firsthand that having a good party is the first step toward having a good event.

“Most of my events are all cocktail receptions,” she said. “They are meet, mix and mingle. It’s a good way for people to socialize, to network. … [Companies are] getting exposure among the public for being community-minded.”

Mullen organizes gatherings that she categorizes as “Cocktails for a Cause,” “Christmas for a Cause” and “A Party with a Purpose,” for organizations sensitive to substance-abuse issues. Her services include securing a location; making and sending out invitations; sending out press releases; recruiting volunteers; and organizing auctions.

“It’s basically all the administrative and technical support needed from conception through reconciliation,” she said. “My events are low-cost, designed to be inclusive of any age and economic means.” Tickets for a typical “Cocktails for a Cause” event might cost $35 to $50 per person at the door. Most restaurants provide appetizers and a complimentary cocktail so that the majority of proceeds from the event go to the company raising money for a nonprofit.

“Most of the time restaurants are doing it as a promotion,” she said. “It’s their donation. They’re the most generous sponsors.” Some of the restaurants that participate in Mullen’s events are Agora at the Westin Providence hotel, Cactus Bar & Grille, Café Fresco, Davio’s at the Providence Biltmore, Grappa, Grille 262, Mediterraneo and Parkside Rotisserie & Bar.

Mullen said even if a small business has limited means for marketing, if it partners with other small businesses in an area to sponsor a “Cocktails for a Cause” event, the result could mean more exposure for each business while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“Cause marketing is something they all should learn,” she said of small businesses in general. “They’re already spending money on marketing. This is just a new way, where they are using their marketing dollars for philanthropy.”

For a Cause Biz’s nonprofit beneficiaries are mainstream organizations, said Mullen, such as the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island and the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, among others.
Mullen charges less to nonprofits that hire her as a consultant. And she plans some events for nonprofits pro bono. For example, Mullen helps plan events for Leadership Rhode Island, a group focused on developing leadership skills in the business, social and public sectors of the state. (Mullen is a graduate of the program.)

Leadership Rhode Island President Kathy Swann said Mullen excels in making sure an event operates smoothly with the least amount of stress for everyone. “Attendance is always greater,” Swann said. “She gets people to come from her enthusiasm and her strategies for promotion.”

Mullen works with her own mailing lists in addition to the lists of other organizations to generate attendance to an event. Her mailing list is full of people who’ve attended her events before. She said she has developed a following over the years. “People were coming to the parties because they knew it was a good party,” she said.

Mullen said she didn’t start event planning for nonprofits until she volunteered at them. As a restaurant manager – after years as a server and bartender – she planned special events to promote the restaurants where she worked.

When she realized the demand for fund-raising events for nonprofits was outstripping supply, she started acting as a consultant to bring the two sides together.

“Events are a labor-intensive form of fund raising,” she said, “but they are needed as a way to reach new markets. Fund raising will always be needed.

“This is a culmination of my past,” she said of For a Cause Biz. “Fund raising isn’t a field anyone chooses to go into. It kind of just happens.”

2007. Swing Into Spring

A website and fundraising event I worked on in April 2007 – one of the first few websites that I built 🙂

THIS was an incredibly FUN event.. and I’ll tell you why. I wanted to get to know the people that I would eventually be partying with (I was living in Prov at the time)… so rather than just plan a fun event – I also booked 3 weeks of swing dance lessons for anyone who wanted to get a jump start and learn a couple moves. Well – we had a whole lot of takers and for weeks before the event, we hooked-up and had “pee your pants” kind of fun together.

March 10

2012: Quiet Year.I noticed yesterday when I was organizing my blog that I didn’t have too many posts from 2012. I remember why… I had to keep my living situation secret. So I only shared what wouldn’t get us in trouble.

2012: There’s nothing like some brand spanking new software to stop the procrastination streak I’ve been on all week… and my new toy came in the mail today – it’s charging up while I work. Feels like “Mary Christmas”!